What Uses of PFAS Are “Essential”

Last week, Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts released a study titled “The high persistence of PFAS is sufficient for their management as a chemical class.”  The title is one of the two big takeaways from the article.  The other is that:

We argue that this high persistence is sufficient concern for their management as a chemical class, and for all “non-essential” uses of PFAS to be phased out.

I don’t suggest that this one article is the end of what is a very significant ongoing debate  about how PFAS should be regulated and how dangerous they are.  However, notwithstanding my general reluctance to speculate, my more than 30 years of experience on Superfund cases tells me that more regulation is coming.  It’s going to be more and more stringent.  I also think that the huge number of different PFAS compounds make “their management as a chemical class” almost inevitable.

Time may prove me wrong, but I suggest that manufacturers and users of PFAS start putting together their cases that they are “essential” sooner rather than later.

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